Last Night of the Proms, Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, Real Ale And Jazz Festival, Priory Park, Chichester.

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In recent years the RAJF has given us Simple Minds, Squeeze, Katie Melua, Blondie and Status Quo - great nights one and all.

In recent years the RAJF has given us Simple Minds, Squeeze, Katie Melua, Blondie and Status Quo - great nights one and all.

But none of them scaled the peaks the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra so thrillingly made their own in a glorious second half to Chichester’s very own Last Night Of The Proms.

After years of rock and pop, it was a bold move to hand the RAJF marquee over to the world of classical music. It turned out to be a brilliant move.

Key to it was the huge skill of the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, superb players delivering with style all the great proms favourites.

But the essential ingredient was the way conductor David Arnold and tenor John Hudson worked the crowd after the interval, creating the most wonderful atmosphere to send everyone home on the most indescribable of highs.

I’d always thought the Last Night Of The Proms was jingoistic claptrap. How wrong can you be. This was scintillating stuff, majestically and rousingly delivered by experts in the art.

Strange then, that the first half was such a subdued affair, the orchestra failing to compete with the hospitality area at the back, packed with people, disrespectfully loud and clearly unaware that they were attending a concert.

How do the RAJF solve that one? Tricky.

But with the crowds urged to stand at the front for the second half, the orchestra gloriously reclaimed their own concert on an exceptional night for Chichester.

It will be fascinating to see what the RAJF organisers do next. Artistically this was a triumph. More of the same next year? You can’t help hoping that Saturday night will prove to be the start of a new Chichester tradition - on the back of a little rethinking as to just how the first-half problems might be overcome.

Eat your hearts out, those big names of rock and pop. Hudson’s delivery of Puccini’s great footy anthem has displaced you all as my favourite RAJF moment.

Phil Hewitt